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Library users can use our photocopying and scanning facilities, provided that they have a clear understanding that the copying does not involve any infringement of copyright.

Any copying of copyrighted works without the express permission of the copyright holder must be kept within the limits allowed for "fair dealing". Fair dealing is a copyright exemption under the prevailing Copyright Ordinance of Hong Kong (Cap 528) that allows some permitted acts on copyright works such as copying for these seven purposes: research, private study (section 38), criticism, review/comment, news reporting (section 39), education (section 41A), or public administration (section 54A). Besides these purposes, the dealing must be fair. In determining whether any dealing with a work is fair dealing, the court shall take into account all the circumstances of the case and, in particular:

  1. the purpose and nature of the dealing, including whether such dealing is for non-profit making purpose and whether it is of a commercial nature;
  2. the nature of the work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion dealt with in relation to the work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the dealing on the potential market for or value of the work.

Subject to the above conditions, copying for research and private study; criticism, review and news reporting; setting or answering examination questions; for use of published literary, dramatic, or musical works in educational establishments are permitted. For the latter, please refer to the following guidelines for more guidance on copying in schools:

Please note that you must properly acknowledge the title and authorship of the work and deal with the work in a fair manner in order to enjoy “fair dealing” exemption. There is also no prescribed percentage on what can be copied. The assessment is qualitative rather than quantitative. It is possible that 10% of a book is already a substantial part of the book and this may still fall outside the fair dealing exception and thereby constitute an infringement of copyright. Unpublished materials, such as manuscripts and theses, may be copied only with the permission of the author or the copyright holder.

The Library provides photocopying, printing and scanning facilities to all library users. A copyright notice is displayed at each printer, photocopier and scanner to alert the users about the restrictions on photocopy, printing and scanning and also remind them not to infringe the copyright laws.

Copyright notice
The Copyright notice on Library printer, photocopier and scanner

If a user is found to have infringed on copyright, a verbal warning will be given to first-time offenders and a record will be made. Repeated offenders will be referred to the appropriate University authorities for disciplinary actions. The Library reserves the right to refuse service if a user's conduct violates applicable copyright laws.